|Aug 01, 2018 14:36|
Who does not want more fabulous terrain for their gaming table? Ok, maybe a few hardcore tournament types don't care so much, but the rest of us do. Even better if that terrain is easy on the wallet and fast to take into use. MDF kits are great, but they have their issues. And assembling them can be quite a lot of work.
I've known about Ziterdes for some time, but I hadn't seen their product in the flesh until I finally took the leap and ordered a number of items as a test set.
Ziterdes is a German company and some of their website remains not translated to English, but I managed to fill my shopping cart anyway and the stuff arrived very promptly. Shipping was very reasonable, as it typically is from Germany to Finland. The first surprise came with the packing box itself. It was boldly labeled NOCH, which is a well known German model railway brand. I don't know the details, but it seems Ziterdes is actually NOCH's fantasy/gaming brand.
All the stuff I got was nicely packaged in neat retail packaging instead of the ziploc bags typical of smaller companies. It doesn't really make a difference to me, but it goes to show we're dealing with a larger company here.
I basically ordered two types of things. A few resin scenery accessories, which were cleanly cast but nothing really new (though I do like the tentacle boxes). But the real reason I ordered them were the foam buildings. This a material I haven't seen before, so I was very interested to see how it works.
I'm going to concentrate on the foam stuff. Ziterdes offers a number of buildings, a few accessories and a ship hull cast in dense foam. They're one-piece castings made in dense foam-like material, no assembly required (ok, the roofs are separate in the kits with interior detail). Ziterdes says the material can be cut, filed and sawed for customization. I really didn't do any with my items, but this appears to be true. In fact their city wall sets don't have corner pieces because you're supposed to cut the exact angles you require yourself. Pretty interesting idea I think. If I wasn't already up to my knees in city walls, I'd get some.
All of these come primed in the appropriate color (gray for buildings and brown for the ship) and could be used as-is if you're in a hurry. For a little more a quick wash and drybrush will make them even better for almost no effort. But I wanted the whole shebang, so I did a full paintjob on them.
The material allows much more surface texture than MDF kits. They're just way more three-dimensional, which is good for medieval stone buildings and complex architecture like Victorian style houses. Unlike some plastic kits (looking at you, Italeri house... ) there is detail also on the interior walls.
One side of the castings is blank with no detail, probably for technical reasons. This is not really a problem for terrain items, but it does limit what can be done with the material. One of the first things I noticed though is that the pre-applied coat of paint is not sitting too tight -- I managed to pull some off with masking tape. I don't think it's going to be a major issue in use, but it's something you need to take into account when working with these.
The other downside is the mixed blessing of no assembly required. On one hand they're quick to get into use, on the other hand some details (especially window frames) would be easier to paint separately. But in the end they paint up very nicely and are very light.
One important thing to note though is that most of the foam buildings do not feature interiors at all. They're solid blocks. Depending on your gaming needs this may or may not be be an issue.
Pricing is comparable to similar MDF kits. Resin kits of this size would be way more expensive and casting enough plaster bricks to build these takes ages -- I know, I've done that.
The Ziterdes line is very much worth a look. They're quality items for a good price and they offer some unique stuff that is really not available elsewhere.
P.S. Looks like Ziterdes has started to offer MDF kits too. I'm going to order a few to check them out. Watch this space.
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Copyright 2003-2014 Mikko Kurki-Suonio